The Smashing Pumpkins are an American alternative rock band that formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1988. Formed by Billy Corgan (vocals/guitar) and James Iha (guitar / backing vocals), the band has included D'arcy Wretzky (bass guitar / backing vocals), Jimmy Chamberlin (drums/percussion), and Melissa Auf der Maur (bass guitar) among its membership.
Disavowing the punk rock roots shared by many of their alt-rock contemporaries, the Pumpkins have a diverse, densely layered, and guitar-heavy sound, containing elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic rock, arena rock, shoegazer-style production and, in later recordings, electronica. Frontman Billy Corgan is the group's primary songwriter—his grand musical ambitions and cathartic lyrics have shaped the band's albums and songs, which have been described as "anguished, bruised reports from Billy Corgan's nightmare-land".
The Smashing Pumpkins broke into the musical mainstream with their second album, Siamese Dream (1993). The group built its audience with extensive touring and their follow-up, the double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995), debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart. With approximately 18.25 million albums sold in the United States alone, The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s. However, internal fighting, drug use, and diminishing record sales hampered the band and led to a 2000 break-up. In 2006, the band officially announced that it was reuniting and recording a new album. Returning members Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin were joined by musicians Jeff Schroeder (guitar/vocals), Ginger Reyes (bass/vocals), and Lisa Harriton (keyboard/vocals) in 2007 to tour in support of their new release, Zeitgeist. In 2009, Chamberlin left the band; Corgan recruited drummer Mike Byrne as a replacement.